January 22, 2017


Different types of marketing research and when to use them

Types of marketing research

There are many different types of marketing research which can be used by any company trying to find out better ideas for their products or services. The usage of these market research types depends on the research objective of the organization.

So, if the research objective is quantitative, then the firm will use any of the different types of quantitative marketing research methodology available at their disposal. Depending on the method they are going to use, they can also decide the type of market research firm they want.

So let us start learning about the different types of marketing research.

1) Secondary Marketing research – The very first type of marketing research most commonly used by organizations is secondary market research. This type of research involves collection of data and then analysis to come to a conclusion. Because of the advanced technological age that we live in, there are many secondary reports already present in the market, on the basis of which companies can take their own decisions.

Hence, before conducting any form of primary research, the firm first does a secondary market research to save money and also to achieve their research objectives faster. However, if their research objectives are not achieved through secondary market research, the researcher then moves onto primary market research. Click the link to learn more about secondary market research.

2) Primary Market research – When the complete data is not obtained from secondary market research, researches then collect original data from the market through a laborious process known as primary market research. If implemented properly, primary research can give a unique insight of the market conditions and also what actions the company can take to improve its position. However, if wrongly implemented, primary research can result in the firm launching the wrong products, thereby possible suffering a huge loss.

There are various types of marketing research falling within the primary research category. Click the following link to know more about primary market research.

Quantitative market research – Any type of primary research which deals with collection of lot of data is known as quantitative market research. There are 3 major types of quantitative marketing research.

Survey research – The most commonly known type, survey marketing research conducts surveys with the help of questionnaires, and therefore finds the answers to the right questions which were being asked by the management. For survey market research to be successful, the questionnaire needs to be spot on and the sample size needs to be as large as possible of the target market.

Observational research – Where survey research involves directly questioning the target audience, observational research involves observing the behavior of the audience when they are purchasing a product to know the influencers on their buying decisions. Typically used in the retail market as well as the online market, observational research is seeing more and more applications in the marketing world because of the increasing number of brands and the increasing influence of marketing communications on consumer buying behavior.

Experimental research – It is a unique kind of research, which observes cause and affects relationship. If one thing is changed in the usual way that the company operates, then what will be the affect of this change in the market? What if the prices were dropped to make the product cheaper? Or what if the prices were increased and the product was made premium in the market? Such type of research is known as experimental research. It is somewhat akin to pilot testing of new products and is mostly used in product driven markets.

Focus group research – Focus groups are a group of people who are given a particular topic to discuss and then observed to get their point of view on the focused topic. For example – if you wanted to launch a new form of ketchup, the topic can be what can be the flavours which people love the most? The ketchup can then be based on these different flavours. This is just a basic example. The topics can become increasingly complex and the subjects who form a part of the focus groups can be a leader of their fields as well. A focus group could also focus on how the ketchup making company can change its positioning in the mind of the customer? And this case, the members of the focus group can be the executives and managers of leading ad agencies as well.

Ethnographic research – This type of marketing research  can also be said to be of the niche type. This is because the ethnographic research focuses on micro niche audiences and finds out what can be done to make these audiences comfortable to the brand and to make them buy more of their products or services. To read more about ethnographic research, click this link.

Qualitative market research – This type of marketing research is more associated with branding, positioning and other such qualitative features of the company where the company might need feedback from their existing or new customers. Some of the common forms of qualitative market research are word associations, visualizations, projective techniques and others. These types of marketing research questions help the researcher collect primary information to complete his research objectives. Read more about qualitative marketing research.

Thus, as you can see from above, there are 2 major types of marketing research existing in the market. The second type, i.e quantitative market research is further sub divided into 6 different types of marketing research, each of them unique and having their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on your market research objective, you can choose any type of market research which is right for your firm. Do remember, the analysis of data obtained from all these market research types is equally important as collecting the data itself.


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About Hitesh Bhasin

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